Headline

A Girl and Her Milk: How to Manufacture Great Leaders

By Ibraheem Dooba

But look at the interesting way that came about. That girl who wouldn’t mix water with milk, that voice of taqwa, was the grandmother of Umar bin Abdul Aziz.

This is the story of the ancestry of one of the most effective leaders ever! Let’s see if it can answer the question: “are leaders born or made?”

One night, Umar (RA) was walking with his son, Aslam,  when he heard an orphan girl debating her widowed mother.

“Let’s add water to this milk,” the mother said.

They were supposed to sell the milk in the market probably the next day.

“O my Mother, don’t you know that the Leader of the Believers, Umar bin Khattab, has prevented us from doing this,” the daughter reminded her mother.

“He has prohibited us,” the girl continued, “because it’s a form of deception.”

But the mother said, “where is Umar?”

“O my Mother, I’m not going to obey him in public and disobey him in private,” the lady responded.

“Because if Umar doesn’t see us right now, the Lord of Umar sees us,” she concluded.

After listening to this exchange, Umar didn’t intervene or reprimand the mother.

Aslam later said that Umar told him, “mark that door.”

He said, “indeed, that is the voice of taqwa.”

So, he went home that night and gathered his sons.

“Who among you is in need of a wife?”

Umar wanted one of his children to marry that girl.

At that time, it was only Asim who wasn’t married.

So after fajr (morning prayers) Umar went to the house, knocked on the door and asked the mother if her daughter was unmarried. He then proposed on behalf of his son.

That woman gave birth to a woman named Laila and Laila gave birth to Umar bin Abdul Aziz (RA).

Umar bin Abdul Aziz became such a just leader that during his time, there was no one to accept Zakkah – which means no one was poor.

Instead, they used the Zakkah to free slaves.

But look at the interesting way that came about. That girl who wouldn’t mix water with milk, that voice of taqwa, was the grandmother of Umar bin Abdul Aziz.

That second Umar, according to Dr Omar Sulaiman, “led the first revival of this Ummah.”

Imagine a country where due to the justice and competence of its leader, everyone is well-off.

So back to our question: “was Umar bin Abdul Aziz born or made?”

On account of the deliberate human intervention of Umar in arranging the marriage, you would say he was made.

But because his grandmother was just and his great grandfather was just, you would say he was born – that is, he inherited greatness.

Related Posts